Oct. 19, 2012
By Bill Wagner
Expectations have certainly changed for the Navy women’s basketball program.
The Midshipmen have captured consecutive Patriot League championships and earned automatic berths in the NCAA Tournament. Like it or not, the standard for success has changed.
“Having two championships under our belt definitely gives us confidence and also gives us a challenge,” standout junior forward Jade Geif said. “We know what it feels like to play in the NCAA Tournament and we want to experience that again.”
Navy women’s basketball has come a long way during the tenure of head coach Stefanie Pemper, who is entering her fifth season. During the eight-year span prior to Pemper’s arrival, the Mids had just one winning season and placed no higher than fourth in the Patriot League. Under Pemper’s direction, Navy has posted four straight winning seasons — both overall and in the league. The back-to-back Patriot League Tournament titles are the first in program history.
Navy gave second-seeded Maryland all it could handle in the first round of last year’s NCAA Tournament before falling, 59-44. The Mids were within seven points of the eventual Elite Eight-bound Terrapins late in the second half. One year earlier, Navy had pushed third-seeded DePaul, a Sweet 16 qualifier, to the limit in the opening game of the NCAA Tournament.
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